SCHATZ CONTINUES TO SIZZLE, WINS HOMETOWN RACE
MINOT, ND (Aug. 20) – Forgive Donny Schatz for being a little emotional on Sunday night. After all the guy used to be a kid in the stands at Nodak Speedway cheering for his favorite drivers to go fast. On Sunday night, he was the guy standing in victory lane that the capacity crowd was cheering for after he finally, after seven tries, won a World of Outlaws A-Feature in his hometown.
“This is where it all started for me,” said the Minot, N.D., native. “This is where I made my first laps in a car and my family is from. To be here a few times and come close to winning, tonight we get to taste that victory. It’s as special as the Knoxville Nationals. To hear the crowds’ reaction and to get that trophy in front of that grandstands means everything to me.”
Yes, that’s right as special as the Knoxville Nationals, the sport’s biggest race. Schatz has won everywhere at least once, now including his hometown track. It was the completion of another solid week for Schatz behind the wheel of the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) No. 15 STP/Armor All/Chevy J&J. The four-time WoO champion has been on a roll for last three weeks winning five times, including WoO wins at Cornwall (Ontario), Knoxville (World Challenge), his sixth Knoxville Nationals, McCool Juntion and Sunday at Minot.
“We’ve had a phenomenal few weeks with the STP team,” Schatz said. “The team is unbelievable right now. Everyone is so pumped up to be working on this team and giving me a great car to drive every night. It’s everybody, and having partners like STP, Chevrolet and Armor All on board just makes it all so exciting. Everyone is having a lot of fun right now and we’re hoping it continues for the rest of the year.”
Schatz qualified fourth, raced to third in the opening heat and to second in the dash. He powered around polesitter Craig Dollansky on the second lap and never looked back. The race was halted by a pair of red flags, but that was the only thing that was slowing down the North Dakota racer. The victory was his seventh WoO win of the season and 120th A-Feature of his career.
The recent surge has allowed him to cut Dollansky’s lead in the standings in half as he prepares to head north and then west for the next three weeks.
“We’re excited to keep this train rolling,” continued Schatz. “First, it’s back to Edmonton, where we’ve run really well in the past. Then to Skagit, Oregon and California. There are a lot of opportunities out there for us to continue making strides. We’re excited.”
Action resumes for Schatz this week with the sixth annual Oil City Cup at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta on Friday and Saturday. Schatz each won the second A-Feature at Castrol during the inaugural Oil City Cup in 2007 and was leading last year’s finale when he was clipped by a lapped car late in the race.